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On The Money: White House hopes to see infrastructure bill passed by summer | Biden under pressure from all sides over scope, tax hikes

On The Money: White House hopes to see infrastructure bill passed by summer | Biden under pressure from all sides over scope, tax hikes
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Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, where we’re celebrating Opening Day even if we can’t watch the Mets and Nats. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL—White House hopes to see infrastructure bill passed by summer: President BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE hopes to see Congress pass his infrastructure and climate proposal by this summer, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiFrench police deploy tear gas on protestors supporting Palestinians in Paris White House says safety of journalists is 'paramount' after Gaza building bombed Washington showing signs of normalcy after year of restrictions MORE said Thursday, setting a slightly longer timeline than his recently enacted coronavirus relief package.

Why? Psaki told reporters at an afternoon briefing that the extra time will allow for more White House negotiations with congressional Republicans and Democrats, particularly since the legislation does not carry the same level of urgency as the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law last month.

“We’ve got a little bit more time here to work and have discussions with members of both parties,” she continued. “We want to see progress by Memorial Day, we’d like to see this package passed by the summer. But I certainly expect when Congress returns that the president will be inviting members to the Oval Office.”

The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant has more here.

Reach out vs. go it alone: Senate Republicans by and large ripped Biden’s proposal on Wednesday, arguing that it was too partisan and would derail the U.S. economy with tax hikes.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWashington showing signs of normalcy after year of restrictions Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Lawmakers reach agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission MORE (R-Ky.) vowed to fight the legislation and said it “is not going to get support from our side” during a news conference in Kentucky on Thursday. 

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Even so, Psaki suggested there were more areas of agreement than disagreement on improving the country’s infrastructure and other provisions in Biden’s proposal.

“Does he disagree that our nation’s infrastructure is outdated and needs repair? Does he disagree that we need to do more to put American workers back to work and to invest in industries that have growth potential over the long term? Does he disagree that one third of the country who doesn’t have broadband access should have access to broadband?” Psaki said

The battle over pay-fors: Whether any Republicans support Biden’s plan will be determined in part by negotiations over the tax hikes the president proposed to pay for it. 

  • Top GOP senators have warned it would be tough to get any Republicans to vote for raising taxes, even as they’ve also panned the idea of paying for a large infrastructure package through deficit spending.
  • That said, Biden’s plan falls short of what more liberal Democrats and progressive groups were hoping for, and they are already exerting pressure to try to get him to go bigger.

The Hill’s Jordain Carney walks us through the strategy questions facing Biden.

Pass the SALT?: Another wild card Biden will have to address is the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Three House Democrats have already pledged to vote against Biden’s bill if the SALT cap isn’t repealed. 

During a Thursday press call, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiIncreasingly active younger voters liberalize US electorate Sunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-Calif.) stopped far short of drawing a red line, as those Democrats have done. But she said she's a "big supporter of their position" and suggested she wants to see that particular tax provision wrapped into Biden's infrastructure bill, which is expected to feature a series of tax hikes to offset the spending.

"Hopefully we can get it into the bill. I never give up hope for something like that [that] means so much to the American people," Pelosi said on a press call.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis tells us more here.

The bigger picture: Zooming out from the details and negotiations, it’s good to keep in mind the broader message Biden is trying to send with his infrastructure package. 

The White House is pushing an infrastructure bill that could reshape the discussion around capitalism as it seems to reestablish the federal government as a primary driver of how the economy should grow and function.

In addition to traditional infrastructure projects, Biden’s $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan would make government investments in broadband, electric vehicles, climate change, elderly care, child benefits, housing and developing future technologies. 

The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, Brett Samuels, and Amie Parnes tell us how Biden’s proposal effectively transforms the relationship between the government and the private sector. 

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Read more: Biden clashes with business groups over tax hikes.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Weekly jobless claims rise back above 700K: Weekly jobless claims rose above 700,000 last week after briefly dipping below the pre-pandemic record for the first time since March 2020, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

  • In the week ending March 27, the seasonally adjusted number of new applications for unemployment insurance rose to 719,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 658,000.
  • Last week’s increase brings weekly jobless claims back above the pre-coronavirus pandemic record of roughly 690,000, set in October 1982. 
  • Weekly claims had been consistently above that level since the end of March 2020, when the onset of the pandemic drove millions of workers out of the U.S. labor market.

I break down the data here.

 

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S&P 500 passes 4,000 points for first time: The S&P 500 surpassed 4,000 points on Thursday for the first time, at 4,020, up 47 points, or 1.2 percent.

The market milestone is the latest record in a year that has seen unexpected gains despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, which led to some of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. The Hill’s Niv Elis has more here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • More than two dozen House Democrats asked the Federal Reserve on Thursday to use its full arsenal of policy tools to direct funding away from the fossil fuel industry and toward communities harmed by climate change and pollution.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly measure of manufacturing activity rose to its highest level since 1983 in March.
  • The IRS said Wednesday it will automatically calculate and send refunds to those who paid taxes on unemployment benefits received during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized Georgia's new voting law in an interview with Axios published on Thursday, joining a growing number of CEOs who have condemned the new measure.